Adoption News from England’s Prime Minister

England’s Prime Minister David Cameron just reported the law in England will be changed to encourage more foster care councils to do this — so more babies can find a loving home earlier. Much, much earlier, according to the BBC adoption report. And why can’t we start doing that here in the USA?

Cameroon calls it “shocking” that so many babies taken in to care at one month wait 15 months (or more) to be adopted. According to PM Cameron and the BBC the UK government has pledged to simplify and speed up the adoption process. It wants babies to be placed with prospective adoptive parents before the courts have decided to remove them permanently from their natural parents.

In some cases, there might be disappointment for those trying to adopt, because the foster care system and domestic adoption courts of the UK might eventually decide to return the child to its natural parents.

Most often, children are moved from foster carers to adoptive parents once the courts have decided that the child should be adopted, a process that most often takes more than a year.

On average, a child waits two years and seven months to be placed with an adoptive family in England, about the same as here. The BBC reported that  ministers highlighted figures which showed that of the 3,660 children under the age of one who were in care in England in 2010-11, only 60 were adopted.

David Cameron said: “Childrens’ needs must be at the very heart of the adoption process – it’s shocking that we have a system where 50% of one-month-old babies who come to the care system go on to be adopted but wait 15 months to be placed in a permanent, loving home. These new plans will see babies placed with approved adopters who will foster first, and help provide a stable home at a much earlier stage in a child’s life. This way, we’re trying our very best to avoid the disruption that can be so damaging to a child’s development and so detrimental to their future well-being.”

People who wanted to adopt would be prepared to take the risks involved, he said, “because they know how important early stability is to a neglected child.”

Why can’t America jump on the bandwagon and make it easier and more efficient to adopt kids in foster care? Do you think it should take two years to rescue and love an adopted child? No way.

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  1. [...] What UK is doing regarding earlier adoptions from foster care this blog is nearly impossible to read because somebody thought it was pretty to use purple, but if you make it through it you will see UK is trying to make some changes. Hopefully the US will see the light and follow suit. international adoption, orphanage closing, newbrn adoption in Russia | The Adoption Diaries, by Nico… [...]

  2. by Passerby

    On August 14, 2012 at 5:04 am

    “It wants babies to be placed with prospective adoptive parents before the courts have decided to remove them permanently from their natural parents.”

    As much as I want to see kids up for adoption placed quickly and with minimal disruption, I think this is a horrible idea that will hurt more children then it helps. This isn’t just about children being removed back to their biological parents’ homes, this encourages judges to choose the adoptive family they’re already with over the biological family even once it’s been determined there’s no pressing need to do so – all in the name of minimizing disruption.

    Even if we ignore the pain this does to the biological parents, what are we to tell these children later when the research their birth families? Oh, you had parents who wanted to keep you, and there wasn’t abuse or neglect enough that they shouldn’t keep you, but I already had you and they let me keep you so that your life wouldn’t be disrupted again?”

    These changes in adoption law make me leery or adopting myself. I don’t want to find out that I was the boogeyman in some poor birth mother’s life 15, 20 years down the road.